Rakarrack: An Open Source Alternative to Guitar Rig
In the last post, I blogged about setting up a guitar amp/effect processor in Arch Linux. In the comments, some readers mentioned an open source alternative to Guitar Rig named Rakarrack. Since we are all advocates and lovers of FOSS software I thought that it deserves a separate post and our dear readers would get a kick out of using this open source effect processing software.
Rakarrack is probably one the best open source guitar effect projects out there and certainly one of the most active ones. It comes with copious amount of presets, from Satriani and Hendrix to Rock Band ones. As far as I can get, there are 60 default presets, and a large amount of effects like Reverb, Delay, Flange, Chorus etc that makes it somehow a nice option for producing metal sounds. Still I haven’t been able to get the meatier, overdrived and heavy sounds that I get in Guitar Rig using tons of commercially-emulated distortion and modulation effects. But probably that’s because I’m still very new to it and the way it works. There are also other features like a built-in tuner, metronome, a monophonic MIDI convertor, ACI etc which come handy.
The interface is a bit strange and ugly. I’m not trying to compare it with the heavily graphical interface of Guitar Rig but I say that there are better ways to make an organized user interface. For example, it’d be nice to have a totally console, text-based interface for this application and I bet that would be the coolest thing I’d ever seen; even more impressive than Guitar Rig interface (I love console-based apps).
Installation is quite easy and straight-forward. You probably prefer to compile from source code; especially if you are on a different distro. Otherwise, there is an Arch package for Rakarrack in AUR.
Whatever else guitar players expect form a free software, it’s not usually a complete solution that rivals expensive/multi-engine commercial effect processors. Still Rakarrack developers have managed to make a software that is suitable for practicing and small gigs. If one day I get crazy enough I’ll most likely start building things like this using Rakarrack. 😉